Bollywood Legend Rishi Kapoor Dies at 67: we Celebrate his Unforgettable Career

Rishi Kapoor Featured Image
[Photo Source: Screenshot / Yash Raj Films & YouTube]

“Main Shayar Toh Nahi.” “Khullam Khulla Pyar Karenge Hum Dono.” Growing up, I knew that when I heard those songs, a good Bollywood film night full of laughter and romance was sure to come. And it’s all thanks to one man: Rishi Kapoor.

From “Mera Naam Joker” to “102 Not Out,” Rishi Kapoor did it all. He wasn’t just an icon, throughout his career, he was a heartthrob for some, a brother for others, a dad, an uncle, and so much more. He was the epitome of Bollywood, the original “chocolate boy” we couldn’t help but love. Kapoor past away on April 30 after battling leukemia for two years, less than 24 hours after the death of another Indian acting icon, Irrfan Khan. The one-two punch was a blow to not just the Indian film industry but anyone and everyone who enjoyed their incredible work.

As an honorary tribute, here are 14 amazing Rishi Kapoor movies that you should add to your Bollywood movie night, and the songs from each film to turn into your new Spotify playlist.

“Bobby” (1973)

Song from the film: “Main Shayar to Nahin”

How could we make a list of the best Rishi Kapoor films and not put “Bobby” at or near the top spot? This movie is one of the main reasons that we all first fell in love with Kapoor and his talent.

“Chandni” (1989)

Song from the film: “Chandni O Meri Chandni”

Rishi Kapoor & Sridevi. Is there a better combination from the late 1980s? This film was the definition of Bollywood romance for many generations, both in India and the diaspora.

“Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977)

Song from the film: “Parda Hai Parda”

This film gave us all the pure onscreen joy of a trio that is Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, and Vinod Khanna. All three actors play off each other perfectly, the film features non-stop laughs and all three heroines (Neetu Singh, Parveen Babi, and Shabana Azmi) are top-notch.

“Damini” (1993)

Song from the film: “Jab Se Tumko Dekha Hai Sanam”

“Damini” is considered to be one of the first feminist films in Hindi film history. We’re recommending people check out the film, but that recommendation comes with a trigger warning, as the film does contain scenes depicting and discussing sexual violence. It’s a powerful film with brilliant performances from Meenakshi Seshadri, Sunny Deol, Amrish Puri, and of course, Rishi Kapoor.

“Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai” (1981)

Song from the film: “Bolo Bolo Kuch To Bolo”

This film featured Padmini’s debut in the Hindi film industry – her onscreen chemistry with Kapoor was undeniable!

“Sargam” (1979)

Song from the film: “Dafaliwale Dafali Baja”

A beautiful drama (which was originally made in Telugu, then remade in Hindi), “Sargam” was the second film to garner a Filmfare Award nomination for Rishi Kapoor for Best Actor.

“Khel Khel Mein” (1975)

Song from the film: “Khullam Khulla Pyar”

A great Hindi thriller, “Khel Khel Mein” is most famous for featuring another great Rishi Kapoor performance and fantastic music from the late, great RD Burman.


Song from the film: “Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar Kare Ke Nahi”

Rishi Kapoor + Amrish Puri + the debut of Shah Rukh Khan. Enough said.

“Karz” (1980)

Song from the film: “Ek Hasina Thi Ek Deewana Tha”

A wonderful cult thriller in the storied career of a legend.

“Saagar” (1985)

Song from the film: “Sach Mere Yaar Hai”

This film has everything you could possibly need from a Bollywood feature: a complicated love triangle, class divides, Rishi Kapoor & Dimple Kapadia together again, and some Indian crossover appeal with the casting of Kamal Hassan.

“Bol Radha Bol” (1992)

Song from the film: “Tu Tu Tu Tu Tara”

Rishi Kapoor plays two roles in this film, one of the most memorable entries in the Rishi / Juhi Chawla list of onscreen gems together.

“Kapoor & Sons” (2016)

Song from the film: “Buddhu Sa Mann”

“Kapoor & Sons” is not only an excellent film about a dysfunctional but ultimately loving family, it also features one of the best Rishi Kapoor performances from the last two decades. Hands down.

“Do Dooni Chaar” (2010)

Song from the film: “Baaja Bajeya”

A sweet story about family with Kapoor at the center, “Do Dooni Chaar” was awarded the Best Hindi Feature at the 58th National Film Awards. This film also featured the onscreen pairing of real-life couple Kapoor & Neetu Singh again for the first time in 30 years.

“102 Not Out” (2018)

Song from the film: “Badumbaaa”

A story about an aging father and son whose lifestyles are the complete opposite, it was a complete blast to watch iconic actors and friends—Kapoor and Bachchan—have so much fun with each other in silly, joyful roles. This song may not be the next banger, but it is guaranteed to bring a big smile to your face.

Other great performances from Rishi Kapoor over the last two decades include:

  • “Mulk”
  • “Love Aaj Kal”
  • “D-Day”
  • “Fanaa”
  • “Pyaar Mein Twist”
  • “Luck By Chance”
  • “Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi”
  • “Hum Tum”

Everyone at Brown Girl Magazine sends their prayers of strength and love to the entire Kapoor family during this incredibly difficult time. His legacy will live on for generations to come.

By Anjali Bhakta

Anjali is currently working towards a degree in Global Management at Arizona State University. Aside from writing for Brown Girl … Read more ›

‘The Romantics’: Revisiting the Legacy and Grandeur of Yash Chopra With Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra

The Romantics

If you are a South Asian, born in the ’80s or the early ’90s, chances are your ideas of love and romance are heavily influenced by Hindi films — that first gaze, the secret love notes, that accidental meeting somewhere in Europe, over-the-top gestures and dancing around trees. While reality may have been far from what was promised on reel, you still can’t stop pining over a hopeless romantic, with chocolate boy looks, chasing you across the earth and many universes; in the life here and the ones after. Somewhere deep down, you still dream of that possibility despite your husband sitting and sipping his morning coffee right next to you. And much of the credit for weaving this dreamland, that we can’t resist happily sliding into, goes to the legendary Yash Chopra. Award-winning filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s docu-series, “The Romantics,” that released on Netflix on February 14, chronicles Chopra’s prolific career; offering an illuminating look into the highs and lows of his journey, his unblemished vision for Hindi cinema and sheer love for filmmaking. 

I wanted to look at Indian cinema through the lens of it being a major contributor to the global cinema canon and Yash Chopra seemed like the perfect lens to explore that because of the longevity of his career and the fact that he had worked across so many different genres. His films, for so many of us, defined what Hindi cinema is.

— Smriti Mundhra

As “The Romantics” unveils, in a mere episode — a challenging feat in itself — Chopra did experiment with multiple genres as a budding filmmaker, initially under the shadows of his elder brother B.R. Chopra. From the religiously sensitive “Dharamputra” and the trendsetting “Waqt” to the action-packed and iconic “Deewaar.” It wasn’t until later on in his career that he set a precedent for a Hindi film having a wholly romantic narrative; though “Waqt” did offer the perfect glimpse into what would go on to become Chopra’s cinematic imprint. And then came “Chandni” which ushered in a new era for Hindi cinema; defying the formulaic approach to box office success and making love stories the golden goose.

In the words of more than 30 famous faces, a host of archival videos and interviews, and personal anecdotes, audiences get an extensive insight into the life and career of Yash Chopra and the evolution of his vision through the business acumen and genius of his polar opposite son and a famous recluse, Aditya Chopra. “The Romantics” is not a fancy portrait of a legendary filmmaker but an exploration of what goes into making a successful film family and a path-breaking production house. As viewers, we not only get a peek into the making of a fantasy creator but also learn of the many failures, hurdles and uncertainties that the business of filmmaking comes packaged in, the impact of socio-political shifts on the kind of content being produced and demanded, and just how much control we have as an audience over the fate of the film and the filmmaker.

For both the uninitiated and fanatics, there are some interesting revelations like Shah Rukh Khan’s lifelong desire to become an action hero as opposed to a romantic one and the creative conflict between Aditya Chopra and his father Yash Chopra on the sets of “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge” — a project that, surprisingly, did not seem too promising to the latter. Mundhra penetrates deep into the family’s history and industry relationships evoking some really candid conversations; almost as if these celebs were eagerly waiting for their moment to speak. With one appraising interview after the other, it’s a panegyric that does border on being a tad tedious but there is enough depth and fodder in there to keep one hooked. Kudos to Mundhra for managing to achieve cohesion despite there being more than enough material to chew on. In the process of bringing this project to life, Mundhra also ends up achieving a number of milestones: one that the series features the last of actor Rishi Kapoor’s interviews and two, it brings Aditya Chopra, who, it appears, can talk a blue streak contrary to popular belief, to the front of the camera after almost two decades. The moment when he puts the nepotism debate to rest by referring to his brother’s catastrophic attempt at acting is quite the show-stealer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Smriti Mundhra (@smritimundhra)

At some point during the four-episode series, you might question if it’s fair to credit the Yash Raj family for being the only real changemakers of the Hindi film industry and for picking up the baton to get Hindi cinema the global recognition that it has. But then there is no denying the Chopra clan’s body of work, their ability to understand what pleases the crowd and their commitment towards growth and progress amidst changing times and technology — Yash Raj Studios is in fact the only privately held and one of the biggest, state-of-the-art film studios in India. Chopra’s career and legacy are in no way under-lit that Mundhra can claim to throw new light on with “The Romantics.” But what she really has on offer here are sheer nostalgia, some fascinating discoveries and an ode to a cinephile and his art with a bit of fan service.

In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Mundhra discusses why it was so important for Chopra to be the subject of her docu-series, her own learnings during the series’ research and creative process and her accomplishment of getting Aditya Chopra to talk, and that too, at length.

By Nida Hasan

Editor by profession, writer by passion, and a mother 24/7, Nida is a member of Brown Girl Lifestyle's editing team … Read more ›